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We appreciate the opportunity to welcome your business to Albemarle County. Our strategic location, coupled with a highly educated and skilled workforce, low taxes and an outstanding quality of life, creates a vibrant business environment. Our economic development staff stands ready to introduce you to our county and work with you through the relocation process.

Virginia’s corporate income tax is 6%, and the combined state and local sales tax is 5%. The Tax Foundation’s 2011 State Business Tax Climate Index ranked Virginia the 12th more corporate tax-friendly state in the nation.

Albemarle County’s property tax rate is currently 0.819/$100 of assessed value.

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State Level Finance Programs in Virginia

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If your business planning is considering moving your operations to a new location within the County, please refer to the information below about the process for getting your business approved by the Albemarle County Department of Community Development. You will need to follow the steps outlined below for expanding your business – including verifying zoning requirements, a pre-application meeting and determining if any site plan requirements or permits are needed. The Community Development Department will also work with you on your new signage needs. 
  1. Call and Set up a “Pre-Application Meeting” - Every Monday (except holidays) at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Call 434-296-5832 to set up an available meeting.
    The first thing you need to do is contact the Department of Community Development and set up a pre-application meeting to discuss your proposal.  There is no charge  and Staff who come to these meetings will typically include one or more of the following staff; Planner, Engineer, Zoning Official, and Architectural Review Board (ARB) from the Department of Community Development, and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).  You may need to contact other agencies that would be identified in the pre-application meeting.

  2. Site Plan Review
    Your next step would be to have a site plan drawn up by a licensed engineer, architect or landscape architect and submit a Preliminary Site Development Plan application and Checklist to the Department of Community Development by a date identified in the Application Review Schedule.  The review of a new site plan will go through a 60 day preliminary review process.  If the preliminary site plan is approved you will then have 1 year to submit a Final Site Development Plan application and Checklist for review by County staff.  If the property falls within an Entrance Corridor Overlay District, separate submittal of an ARB application will likely be required.  ARB approval is required prior to final Site Development Plan approval.  If the final plan is approved then copies will be signed by all appropriate staff.  There are many other details that apply to the review of a site plan that cannot be fully explained here but are explained by staff during the review process.  The pre-application meeting mentioned above will provide additional details.
    Click here to review the Site Plan Review Procedures Manual which will walk you step-by-step through the site plan review process.

  3. Construction & Inspection
    If the site plan is approved then the next step is to apply for a building permit. You will need the following to obtain a building permit: 1) a building permit application, 2) Approved copies (2) of the site plan, and 3) building plans. During review, the site will be inspected to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations in the Albemarle County Code and the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, and with Zoning Ordinance regulations.  The County Zoning staff provides a Zoning Inspections Packet that explains the preliminary and final zoning inspections process for all site plans. If you plan to install any signs for your business that require a permit and are subject to zoning regulations, please visit the signs center at

Prior to opening your business you will need to obtain a Zoning Clearance for your specific business activity.  If there will be other businesses proposed to occupy the new building then those businesses will also need to obtain a Zoning Clearance.

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Virginia offers a variety of performance-based incentives to businesses relocating to the state, from tax credits to tax exemptions.  Below is a sampling of the incentives offered; a complete list can be found at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership website.

  • Governor’s Opportunity Fund
    A discretionary grant awarded to a locality on a local matching basis, with the hope that the grant will result in a favorable location or expansion in the state

  • Virginia Investment Partnership Grant (VIP)
    A discretionary performance incentive intended to encourage continued capital investment in Virginia companies.
  • Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP)
    A program that offers customized recruiting and training assistance to companies creating new jobs within the state, or experiencing technological change

  • Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA)
    Offers programs to provide small business with needed capital for growth and expansion
Albemarle County also offers a variety of incentives to qualifying businesses, examples are below:
  • Economic Development Authority (EDA) Financing
    The Albemarle County Economic Development Authority issues conduit tax-exempt private activity bonds, the proceeds of which are used to provide low-interest, fixed-asset financing. Borrowers must meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) in order to qualify. If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact County staff Susan Stimart or Ella Jordan at 434-296-5841 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            434-296-5841      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

  • Economic Opportunity Fund
    Albemarle County’s Economic Opportunity Fund is focused on helping businesses to create quality job opportunities for local residents by providing matching funding to federal or state economic development projects.

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